Posted: Jun 9, 2012 10:46 AM by Breanna Roy - KPAX News
Updated: Jun 9, 2012 10:47 AM
MISSOULA - We reported earlier this week that the future of the Tricon Timber sawmill in St. Regis is hinging on its contract with the U.S. Forest Service and in Friday a USFS spokesman assured us that the agency is working out the details to make sure the business survives.
USFS Region 1 Media Coordinator Phil Sammon says the Forest Service can either extend Tricon's contract to help the company ride out market issues or re-determine the original contract rates.
But he says the particulars of the decision are determined at a national level to make sure the deal is fair across the timber industry.
"What we're waiting on right now is for some final details to be worked out and the authority to be granted to us from the Washington office to extend this proposal to Tricon, and it's in our best interest to work with these companies and these contractors to make sure that this whole relationship can keep going and keep us in the business of improving and restoring the natural resources," Sammon explained.
He added that the talks are ongoing and when the contract expires in August the USFS would likely consider a short-term extension with Tricon.
But Tricon Timber wants something that says that on paper with owner Ken Verley saying he's heard promises since August but all he has in his hands is an extension denial from the Forest Service.
However, late Friday afternoon Senator Jon Tester received a written response from the Forest Service ensuring a resolution. Tester says he will hold them to that promise.